The Sheffield Antiques Quarter heralds shopping local and independent but is there anything truly remarkable, or out of the ordinary, to be found here?
I believe so and put it down to the abundance of an extraordinary breed of people who offer us a glimpse into the past, a chance to keep something alive that we delight in being reminded of.
They are the unique traders and passionate shop owners, themselves avid collectors, with an eye, the means and knowledge to uncover a trove of delights to present museum style on their shelves to wet the appetite.
A browse round the shops, vintage markets or the Pedlar’s Corner carboots and the dusky scent of an oak welsh dresser or the sight of a matchbox toy will spark murmurs of ‘that brings back memories.’
Although, rare and valuable finds are possible, often the value comes from somewhere inside of us.
Local trader Hazel Scott recently purchased a Melaware teaset, not particularly collectable, but which triggered an emotional memory from 1966 and a family move to Blackpool. When you spend time in the antiques quarter this unexpected stirring is the added value you get - you can’t buy that online.
As well as nostalgia, collecting holds some real delight and it is the spirit of childhood wonder, reminiscent in the life of Rudyard Kipling, of discovery and the exhilaration of a personal hunt for treasure. Anyone who has ever collected anything will know the thrill of unearthing an addition and for this they will travel the many corners of the land in a frenzy of butterflies.
Last Sunday at Pedlars Corner Carboot, tintoy enthusiast Norman Salt picked up two tin vans for £160, dated 1930.
Recognising the maker as Wells of Walthamstow, one was extremely rare and valued at £750. He was delighted and it will never be parted with.
With our city constantly changing and the frantic rush to replace the old with new we have to be careful not to take down all the murmurs of the past.
Buildings too hold memories and incredible nostalgia.
No more so than the iconic Abbeydale Picture House where events and the recent revival of film reignites the memory of a first true love meeting and a kiss.
The same people remember the Temperance Bar doors away, now Dronfield Antiques, where hard-earned pennies were spent on a little luxury.
I have to sing the praises of the wonderful traders, shop owners and people who keep these buildings alive in the quarter, whose eccentricity and passion adds something remarkable to the lives of so many.
It is the heartwarming feeling that is a nostalgia upon which you cannot put a price.